Format: Paperback (ARC)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): For the first time in her life, Rain has a choice to make.
The thirteen-year-old slave girl lives in the country of Yoan, where slaves aren't allowed proper names, let alone anything else. After being sold by a gambler and bought by a thief, she's freed by an eccentric young noble, about whom many rumors abound. Some say his manor is haunted, his horse can fly, and that he's actually a devil.
Now that she's free, Rain must decide what she will do with that new freedom. Her choices will lead her to new friends and many adventures, none of which she could have possibly expected.
Fans of Harry Potter and Howl's Moving Castle will enjoy this magical tale about choices, consequences, and what it really means to be free.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
My Summary: Rain was born into slavery. Her life has always been centered around a routine: take care of the master's needs before your own. But Rain is happy with her life - her masters treat her and the rest of the servants like human beings, and she and her sister Snow have been allowed to grow up together and take care of each other.
But things can't last. Master Peachtree sells Rain and a few of the other servants to help pay off his debts, and Rain and her sister are separated. Taken to market to be sold, Rain expects to be bought by another family and put to work right away. Instead, a young man rides into town, drunk out of his mind, and buys 10 slaves - including Rain.
Arriving at the young man's castle, Rain expects to be put to work immediately - the place is in a state of extreme disrepair - but instead she and the other slaves are handed their papers and told the last thing they ever expected to hear: they are free.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book a lot more than I'd anticipated originally! Although I had a little bit of trouble getting into it at first, after the first 30 or so pages I was hooked.
This book deals with a lot of topics: friendship, slavery, growing up, (and more!) and I loved the way the author was able to incorporate them each subtly. There was never a point where you could think, "this book is based solely on friendship" or "this book is about growing up", because the author manages to weave all these topics together seamlessly throughout the course of the novel, never overwhelming the reader. I also adored the element of magic in this book - it was a great way to add excitement (and readers will definitely enjoy it if they like fantasy and magic).
I also loved the characters! Coal and Domrey were both really genuine, and Domrey goes through a major shift in the eyes of the reader over the course of the book. He starts off as a silly drunk you think has money and power and everything he wants, but as you delve deeper into the novel you get to see him as he really is: lonely and generous and compassionate. Coal was great as well, and I loved the way he stayed with Rain even though they didn't know each other that well.
Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading younger YA, and anyone who enjoys books with an element of magic and fantasy.